According to one new study the state with the most psychopathic residents is Connecticut — with California, New Jersey, New York, and Wyoming filling out the top five. The study has yet to undergo a peer review for be published in a medical journal, but it was conducted by professor Ryan Murphy of Southern Methodist University.
To find these results, researchers relied on previous surveys that established the levels of the big five personality traits (extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience) in each state. They found which of the big five personality traits were most common in psychopaths and created a calculation to give each state a score.
But can you tell the difference between someone truly psychopathic and someone who’s just a jerk? The standard screening test for potential psychopaths is the Hare Psychopathy Checklist. Score yourself a 0 if the item does not apply; 1 if it applies somewhat; 2 if it definitely applies:
1. Do you exhibit excess glibness or superficial charm?
2. Do you have a grandiose sense of self-worth?
3. Do you have an excess need for stimulation or proneness to boredom?
4. Are you a pathological liar? (Psychopaths don’t care about the truth.)
5. Are you in the habit of conning or manipulating others?
6. Do you fail to accept responsibility for your own actions? (When you’re a psycho, it’s always someone else’s fault.)
7. Do you lack realistic long-term goals? (Psychopaths prefer crazy schemes over life or career goals.)
8. Do you have a “parasitic lifestyle”? (Psychopaths prefer not to work for anything — it’s so much easier to take stuff from other people.)
9. Do you display a lack of remorse or guilt? (Psychopaths don’t feel bad when they do bad things.)
10. Do you have “shallow affect”? (Psychopaths show a lack of emotion when an emotional reaction is appropriate.)
11. Are you callous or lacking in empathy? (Psychopaths just don’t care when bad things happen to other people.)
12. Do you have poor behavioral controls? (Psychopaths find it difficult to keep themselves in check.)
13. Do you have a history of early behavioral problems? (As children, psychopaths often have a history of cruelty to others.)
14. Do you have a history of juvenile delinquency?
15. Are you excessively impulsive?
16. Do you have a high level of irresponsibility? (Psychopaths aren’t big on doing the right thing.)
17. Do you have a history of promiscuous sexual behavior?
18. Have you had many short-term “serious” relationships? (Psychopaths are committed to no one but themselves.)
19. Do you display “criminal versatility”? (Psychopaths differ from normal criminals because they’ll break ANY law to get what they want.)
20. Have you ever experienced a “revocation of conditional release”? (Even when psychopaths catch a break — like being granted probation — they tend to screw up.)
If you scored more than 30, then you might be a psychopath. Otherwise, breathe easy: you’re either perfectly normal…or perfectly normal jerk.
A proper diagnosis of a psychopath can only be given by a medical professional.